As a very lovely friend sat sipping a glass of wine in my living room the other day, she paused to say: “I’m really sorry. It’s like I have a nervous tic or something but I can’t stop looking around. My eyes are just constantly on the move. It’s like Aladdin’s cave. There are just ‘things’ everywhere.” It is true. I am one of life’s hoarders. Thinking back to my childhood I realised that my obsession with collecting things, displaying unusual objects and revelling in a retail experience, actually started when I was still quite young. I think that I was heavily influenced by my mum’s love of antiques. Ingrained on my memory are childhood holidays driving through France with my mum shrieking at my Dad to stop at every church and every antique shop we came across. (That and the car stereo alternating between the Archers omnibus and Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms album.) While I didn’t embrace the religious habit, the retail habit hit home. I imagine this was why I took to running an antique shop from my bedroom for a number of years, from the ages of perhaps five to 11-years-old. I had a black binder folder where I would collate information on each of the objects in my possession and had a price list. I would always allow for a little manoeuvrability on price. Some of the ‘cabbage patch’ crowd were hard bargainers. I still have the antique till where I used to amass the days takings. It now acts as a spice draw. I love to dot my house with objects that I collect in a haphazard fashion in life. There is no particular rational for the choices, I just have to love looking at them. As the Rosie Brown song goes, “a pretty thing in every corner.” I think a home needs these random trinkets. They add layers of personality and interest to a room. You probably have more than you think already. A lot of it comes down to the art of display. Choose things you love and think about how you present them. In groupings odd numbers work well, three’s and five’s. To stop it looking like a jumbled mess use some cohesion to marry things together. Group by colour, vintage or usage. Happy collecting.